FRENCH FARMERS APPEAL GMO BAN
Farmers and seed companies appealed a ban on a genetically modified strain of Monsanto's corn, saying the ban was economically harmful and unjustified. Agricultural minister Bruno Le Maire imposed a temporary ban on MON 810 in March, saying it was a "precautionary measure" to protect the environment. "This restriction does not rely on any serious scientific element, and maize producers, hit by (insects), sustain real financial damage," said French growers group AGPM, French seed firms group UFS, and the corn and sorghum producers group FNPSMS. Monsanto has said its genetically modified corn is safe, but the nation's ecology ministry pointed to a study by the European Food Safety Authority that questioned the safety of the GM crop BT11, saying it also applied to the Monsanto crop. The ministry requested that the European Commission suspend authorization for the crop, saying it poses "significant risks for the environment." The nation's top administrative court overturned a ban on farmers planting genetically modified crops from Monsanto in November. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/29/us-france-gmo-idUSBRE82S0ZD20120329.